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a fool to stop his journey, or so much as Nah his whip at them, he'll draw on more noise, and the boys of the town to boot ; but if he rides on his way, the poor Curs sneak away home, and are no more taken notice of.
A U THORS.
IS a strange thing to observe how very wisely and morally some men
will write, and yet all the while live almost like the vulgar; as Tully of old, and of late my Lord BACON; both, I believe, of as great parts and knowledge as ever any age has produced.
They differ in many things, but in this they are alike; in having written so very philosophically, and almost divinely on all manner of subjects, especially morality: Yet the first was too great a flatterer of an Usurper, his Country's Tyrant, extolling him every where against his very conscience; as appears
: by his railing at him as much after his death, and grieving that he had no hand in it. Also no man was so extremely sensible of any turn of fortune; a sign of a little spirit, considering the magnanimous temper of those times. Vol. II.
He expos'd also his vanity a little too much
'Tis therefore an amazing thing to reflect
ings, as well as Faces, there are no two in the whole world exactly alike; and therefore in fo valt a variety there must needs be fome very odd and unaccountable. Yet few fuch wonders as these two happen, who were fo often failing themselves, yet capable and worthy of instructing all mankind. Such men put me in mind of one of the best Teachers to dance in all Paris, who was so lame himself, that he could hardly go or ftand.
THESE great Authors had done the world yet more service in their works, if they had entertain'd us with their own imperfections, and describ'd (as they could have done most admirably) that unpliableness of their passions and humours, under all their learning and wisdom. But we must never expect so much fincerity in any writer, except the incomparable MONTAGN, who is like to stand alone to all pofterity. Yet whenever any great Wit fhall incline to the same free way of writing, I almost dare assure him of success; for besides the agreeableness of such a book, fo
very sincere a temper of mind needs not blush to be exposed as naked as possible.
MONTAGN, methinks, represents ADAM in his innocence ; the very first of his kind
naked, but not ashamed, because unblemished and unaffected. I know he is accus'd of Vanity, but (I think) without reason. And tho' he were guilty, 'tis hard not to forgive an only fault in him, and a fault which abounds so much more in all the great Wits we read of. Nay, perhaps it is a fault in an author quite to want it; for why should a man set up school, if he does not own he knows more than his scholars? They'll say, you must conceal this good opinion of your self; which yet is allowing the thing, tho' not the shewing it: and that is sufficient to excuse MONTAGN, who if he had vanity, did (lure) of all the world disguise it the beft; and so very well, that we see 'tis à dispute whether he had it or not ! 'Tis indeed the shewing it self so grossly, that is the foolish part of vanity ; and ruins the reputation it designs so much to raise. For Boasting is not only telling of Lyes, but also many unseemly Truths; and that man does certainly worse who exposes his. Mistress's favours, than he who pretends falsely to have received them; because they are equally vain, but the first is also ungrateful.